On humanity, hope & belonging.

What strange times we’re in right now.

We got the memo: this is no joke. We’ve donned our masks. We’ve pushed through our weariness. We’ve limped along and accepted what is. But could we be seeing signs of progress on the horizon? The world’s most brilliant minds have done the near impossible, pulling together several vaccine candidates that could knee-cap this relentless battle. Whether you take an eligible vaccine or not isn’t my point. Humanity is persevering.

Humanity, is looking for a way out of this mess. 

Straight up, this gives me hope. And when in darkness, I will seek out any shred of hope I can find.  

Wherever you are in the world, Covid has impacted you. Most of us spent months in lockdown, forced into disconnection while we worked to ‘flatten the curve’ — an expression I never imagined I’d hear, understand or be so sick of all at once. But it became a rallying cry for all of us. We did not want our health care systems in chaos. We did not want our loved ones dying. We did not want to be reckless in the face of so much bloody uncertainty. We believed in the idea that although we were apart, we were still together, just, in new ways. 

As it turns out, we need each other. Just typing these words fogs up my glasses.

How beautiful to now know that perhaps we took each other for granted? How profound to now grasp that our whole, wide world is really so small? How vital has it been to finally fathom the sorry state of our Long Term Care system?

I know this is getting old. And we’re heading into winter amid soaring new numbers. Enthusiasm for supporting the cause is waning, to say the least. But let’s hold onto what we’ve discovered. Our yearning for human contact says so much about us as a people. 

It says that we all matter. 

Sometimes I reflect on pre-Covid times, and what I’ve come up with is that things were a train wreck then, too. Just a different one. Everyone running in fifty different directions… Every man out for himself. I get that I’m generalizing, but I’m beginning to wonder if this could be true: is all great change really preceded by chaos? (Thank you, Deepak.) Are we not on the brink of taking the lessons we’ve learned and making the world better?

This is how I choose to see it, because it gives me something to believe in. Something that fuels my hope during this freaking misery marathon we’re all running. 

Yes, we are tired. But look how we’ve adapted! Look at how options to connect have skyrocketed! (And admittedly, we have a ways to go to bridge the digital divide.) Look at how we’ve all sought options to take our friendships, families and social groups online to stay in touch. Because we just aren’t meant to exist on our own. Another realization that fuels me.  

Photo cred: John Cameron, Unsplash

I’ve seen such kindness over these last few months.

Busy people putting down their agendas to make life a little easier for our vulnerable loved ones. Picking up medication and groceries. Med students mobilized to babysit the children of frontline workers. Programs created to call isolated seniors so they might enjoy a weekly phone call from a volunteer, keeping them company a few hours each week. People have stepped up and are filling in the gaps. It makes my heart soar to see this level of human compassion. 

I’m not denying the vast amount of suffering that’s gone on. I just can’t, however, go there right now. I must focus on the good. The world will open back up again and as it does, maybe we can take these collective learnings and shift our consciousness to a more global perspective. I personally believe that our spirit of human cooperation has the potential to move this and future generations into a society that cares even more for others. And wouldn’t that be something? 

We are, after all, a universe of people. Bonds are forming across barriers we didn’t used to pay attention to. And while things are far from perfect, we can all agree that we’re a species longing for … well, belonging. That revelation has the power to change our whole world.

by Sam Plavins, Founder, She Walks the Walk Inc.

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